Recently, a few marketing interns and I - based at Kennametal’s Latrobe, PA, corporate headquarters - had a chance to tour the Kennametal Solon, OH, plant. It has been a challenge as a new member of the Kennametal family to fully understand what exactly this company does. In visiting this facility, I was able to clearly see two of Kennametal’s core strengths: technology and people.
Upon arriving at Solon, we first got briefed on the safety guidelines specific to the facility and then were outfitted in the appropriate safety gear. Following a presentation overview of the facility and Engineered Solutions, we got out on the shop floor to see production first hand.
My background is not in manufacturing so I don’t know what I was expecting the shop to be like. But the reality was quite different then I’d expected. Walking around the floor I noticed some of the expected things: the beeping of forklifts, the whirl of machines, and neatly cataloged shelves.
However, I din’t know that most people expect to see what else we saw on the shop floor: a surprising amount of open space; a clean and bright space; and keyboards ... with the precision Kennametal demands, few machines exist that aren’t computer controlled.
A highlight for me and others was a chance to meet fellow interns working in the engineering department. Comparing experiences and responsibilities, and making connections, was a valuable takeaway for all of us on the trip.
Seeing up close the precision engineering that goes into every product at Kennametal connects me better to the work I’m doing back in Latrobe. Connecting an order number in a catalog - to a product - to the requirements of a customer anywhere in the world who relies on precision to the micron level - brings Kennametal full circle. When my friends have asked me what Kennametal does I’ve told them this: Kennametal makes the tools that allow manufacturers to process, shape, and produce products in just about every industry. My experience in Solon - seeing the skill that goes into production, meeting engineers happy to go out of their way to explain their work, and realizing everyone is focused on delivering nothing but their best to the customer - brings home the fact that, yes, Kennametal relies on technology, but it also excels in personnel.
Leave a comment for our summer intern Pat Mazur below! Great job, Pat!